Some brief notes on the Portland, Maine, local singing:
I was able to slip away from a professional conference to sing with the monthly singing in Portland, Maine. It was a good solid class, with (I think) 16 singers total. They tend to sing in a somewhat less ornamented style typical of eastern New England singers. The singers were loud and excellent — and if I might apply a term from the religious world, I would call them “Spirit-filled.”
While all the sections were good, I really enjoyed singing with the basses. In particular, the singer to my left (alas, I’ve forgotten his name) was a fabulous musician. I especially enjoyed his leading: he beat time with minimal motion but rock-solid tempo, and with that minimal motion managed to communicate exactly what he felt about a given tune, and also managed to get the best possible sound out of the class. Someday, when I grow up, perhaps I’ll be as good a leader as he is.